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Old 01-26-2012, 03:44 PM
 
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If we had the internet when I was a kid then I wouldn't have gone outside much either. How many of you have been sucked into your computer, the tv, or video games when it's a nice day outside? When I was a kid the choices were to whine that there was nothing to do and then have to do housework or go outside and play. On tv there were a very, very limited number of choices during the day.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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Richard Louv wrote "Last Child in the Woods" - it's a really great read on this particular topic. At the back of the book it even discusses ideas for how to get your kids outdoors more, and how to help them glean an appreciation for nature.

In our neighborhood, kids still play outdoors. Even in the rain! We're in Oregon, so you get used to it and the kids don't even seem to notice it. In fact, when the schools call the kids in from recess because it rains too much and the fields start to flood - the kids complain about it for the rest of the day! lol Growing up in Texas, if it rained at all we had to go inside, and boy was that boring! People were terrified that we kids were going to get struck by lightning or something. In Oregon, they play outside so long as the fields aren't flooding. If it's just drizzle or light rain, they play outdoors.

We also have a ton of trees here to climb, and growth boundaires to keep sprawl from happening, and people love their natural spaces, woods, streams, rivers, hiking trails, etc. So there is a lot of area here for kids to still explore and be kids and enjoy the outdoors.

We've lived in other cities that were so sad! Hardly any trees and just cement and landscaping everywhere - no fun! Nowhere to explore. No hiking trails. Oppressive! That's no place to raise a kid, IMO.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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We have plenty of places for outdoor exploration and my oldest son certainly did that. He and his friends made up strange games even into High School that involved homemade swords made of pvc pipes and a huge ball. He was also involved in Boy Scouts, eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. He hiked at Philmont in New Mexico twice. My daughter was also a scout for 12 years and as an adult enjoys rock climbing, hiking etc.

We have more parks and places for recreation where I live now then we did when I was a kid, but that does not mean squat if you find what's on a screen more interesting then what's outside.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
We have more parks and places for recreation where I live now then we did when I was a kid, but that does not mean squat if you find what's on a screen more interesting then what's outside.
That's what parents are for: To say "No computer/TV, it's a beautiful/passable day, get outside."

That's what we do, but too many parents don't parent anymore and let the kids call the shots.

For that matter, most kids would rather sit down to a "meal" of peanut butter cups and potato chips.
It's up to parents to come up with a balanced, nutritional meal instead. (Dessert in moderation is a different issue. )
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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Of course it's up to the parents to push their kids out, I just get tired of people complaining about how when they were kids they spent their whole childhood outside. Me too, but (again) that's because there was no good inside alternative.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: California
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My kids played outside when they were young but I can see why many don't have the opportunity. Living in an apartment or on a busy street means you need to plan playtime and can't just tell your kids to go outside for awhile.

I'm not an outdoors person myself so I didn't push things like camping, hiking, etc on them, just neighborhood stuff and whatever sport they were trying that year.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
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Ok, admitted dinosaur here, but when I was in elementry school we had an afternoon recess when we went outside to the playground if it wasn't raining. We could choose what we wanted to do. Those who needed to work off some energy chose physcal activity, those who didn't often just stood or sat and talked quietly. I believe that this outside break was good for us physically and mentally. When we came back into the class room, we were refreshed, instead of going through that afternoon slump we had in later years when recess was not an option. I do think it is important for children to be outside, even to a park or playground if that is all that is available to them, but in a rural or wilderness setting if at all possible. I think the kids would be much better off and learn much better if an outside recess were provided in schools.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:31 PM
 
Location: The Great White North
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And this is why I love my job! I'm currently an outdoor ed instructor with a national park- we take kids on field trips all over the park and in the local area. It's a great way for them to learn something, enjoy the outdoors, and connect with nature.

For any classroom teachers out there, I'd be willing to bet that there's a nature center/park/preserve somewhere in your local area that would love to host field trips for your students, if you're interested in getting your kids outside.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:11 AM
 
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I think the push to put kids in school like environments earlier and for longer hours means they get less time outdoors, and also contributes to more diagnoses like ADD when the kids can't conform to the rules of pre-kindergarten or whatever.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Our schools still have recess for K-3 and then gym 4 - 12. I think boy and girl scouts is a great after school alternative for kids that don't like organized sports but want to do things outside with other kids. It's up to parents to lead their children to the different choices, but at some point it's got to be up to the kids to continue.
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